Aluminum-Lithium Alloys

Aluminum-Lithium Alloys

Processing, Properties, and Applications

1st Edition - September 20, 2013

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  • Editors: N Eswara Prasad, Amol Gokhale, R.J.H Wanhill
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780124016989
  • eBook ISBN: 9780124016798

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Because lithium is the least dense elemental metal, materials scientists and engineers have been working for decades to develop a commercially viable aluminum-lithium (Al-Li) alloy that would be even lighter and stiffer than other aluminum alloys. The first two generations of Al-Li alloys tended to suffer from several problems, including poor ductility and fracture toughness; unreliable properties, fatigue and fracture resistance; and unreliable corrosion resistance. Now, new third generation Al-Li alloys with significantly reduced lithium content and other improvements are promising a revival for Al-Li applications in modern aircraft and aerospace vehicles. Over the last few years, these newer Al-Li alloys have attracted increasing global interest for widespread applications in the aerospace industry largely because of soaring fuel costs and the development of a new generation of civil and military aircraft. This contributed book, featuring many of the top researchers in the field, is the first up-to-date international reference for Al-Li material research, alloy development, structural design and aerospace systems engineering.

Key Features

  • Provides a complete treatment of the new generation of low-density AL-Li alloys, including microstructure, mechanical behavoir, processing and applications
  • Covers the history of earlier generation AL-Li alloys, their basic problems, why they were never widely used, and why the new third generation Al-Li alloys could eventually replace not only traditional aluminum alloys but more expensive composite materials
  • Contains two full chapters devoted to applications in the aircraft and aerospace fields, where the lighter, stronger Al-Li alloys mean better performing, more fuel-efficient aircraft


Materials researchers and engineers working in the aluminum and aerospace industries, alloy and structural designers, graduate and post-graduate students in materials science and engineering

Table of Contents

  • Foreword


    About the Editors

    A Note of Gratitude from the Editors

    List of Contributors

    Part I: Introduction to Al–Li Alloys

    Chapter 1. Historical Development and Present Status of Aluminum–Lithium Alloys

    1.1 Introduction

    1.2 Lithium Additions to Aluminum Alloys: Early Days

    1.3 Development of Modern Aluminum–Lithium Alloys

    1.4 Closure



    Chapter 2. Aerostructural Design and Its Application to Aluminum–Lithium Alloys

    2.1 Introduction

    2.2 Aircraft Structural Property Requirements

    2.3 Engineering Property Requirements for Al–Li Alloys in Aircraft Structures

    2.4 Families of Al–Li Alloys

    2.5 Examples of Third-Generation Alloy Property Developments and Trade-Offs

    2.6 Service Qualification Programs

    2.7 Summary and Conclusions


    Part II: Physical Metallurgy

    Chapter 3. Phase Diagrams and Phase Reactions in Al–Li Alloys

    3.1 Introduction

    3.2 Nature of Phases

    3.3 Al–Li Binary System

    3.4 Ternary Systems

    3.5 Quaternary Al–Li–Cu–Mg System

    3.6 Minor Alloying Additions to Al–Li Alloys

    3.7 Impurities and Grain Boundary Precipitation

    3.8 Chapter Summary



    Chapter 4. Microstructure and Precipitate Characteristics of Aluminum–Lithium Alloys

    4.1 Introduction

    4.2 Microstructures in the Solution-Treated Condition

    4.3 Age Hardening Behavior

    4.4 Characteristics of Precipitates

    4.5 Summary



    Chapter 5. Texture and Its Effects on Properties in Aluminum–Lithium Alloys

    5.1 Introduction

    5.2 Texture in Al–Li Alloys

    5.3 Texture Evolution During Primary Processing

    5.4 Macroscopic Anisotropy of Yield Strength

    5.5 Practical Methods to Reduce Texture in Al–Li Alloys

    5.6 Summary



    Part III: Processing Technologies

    Chapter 6. Melting and Casting of Aluminum–Lithium Alloys

    6.1 Introduction

    6.2 Melt Protection from the Atmosphere

    6.3 Crucible Materials

    6.4 Hydrogen Pickup and Melt Degassing

    6.5 Grain Refinement

    6.6 Casting Practices

    6.7 Summary


    Chapter 7. Mechanical Working of Aluminum–Lithium Alloys

    7.1 Introduction

    Part 1: Workability

    Part 2: Processing of Al–Li Alloys


    Chapter 8. Superplasticity in and Superplastic Forming of Aluminum–Lithium Alloys

    8.1 Introduction

    8.2 Superplasticity

    8.3 Superplastic Forming

    8.4 Role of Friction Stir Processing on Superplastic Forming

    8.5 Applications

    8.6 Concluding Remarks


    Further Reading

    Chapter 9. Welding Aspects of Aluminum–Lithium Alloys

    9.1 Introduction

    9.2 Weld Metal Porosity

    9.3 Solidification Cracking

    9.4 Liquation Cracking

    9.5 EQZ Formation and Associated Fusion Boundary Cracking

    9.6 Modification of Fusion Zone Microstructures

    9.7 Mechanical Properties

    9.8 Corrosion

    9.9 Solid-State Welding Processes

    9.10 Summary



    Further Reading

    Part IV: Mechanical Behavior

    Chapter 10. Quasi-Static Strength, Deformation, and Fracture Behavior of Aluminum–Lithium Alloys

    10.1 Introduction

    10.2 Mechanisms of Strengthening

    10.3 Ductility and Fracture Toughness

    10.4 Anisotropy of Mechanical Properties

    10.5 Tensile Properties of Selected Aluminum–Lithium Alloys

    10.6 Summary and Conclusions



    Chapter 11. Fatigue Behavior of Aluminum–Lithium Alloys

    11.1 Introduction

    11.2 The Phenomenon of Fatigue

    Part A: Low Cycle Fatigue (LCF)

    Part B: High Cycle Fatigue (HCF)


    Chapter 12. Fatigue Crack Growth Behavior of Aluminum–Lithium Alloys

    12.1 Introduction

    12.2 Background on Test Methods and Analysis

    12.3 Survey of FCG of Al–Li Alloys

    12.4 FCG Comparisons of Al–Li and Conventional Alloys I: Long/Large Cracks, CA/CR Loading

    12.5 FCG Comparisons of Al–Li and Conventional Alloys II: Long/Large Cracks, Flight Simulation Loading

    12.6 FCG Comparisons of Al–Li and Conventional Alloys III: Short/Small Cracks

    12.7 Differing FCG Behaviors and Advantages for Second- and Third-Generation Al–Li Alloys

    12.8 Summary and Conclusions


    Chapter 13. Fracture Toughness and Fracture Modes of Aerospace Aluminum–Lithium Alloys

    13.1 Introduction

    13.2 Test Methods for Determining Fracture Toughness (and Terminology)

    13.3 Effects of Microstructural Features on Fracture Toughness and Fracture Modes

    13.4 Fracture Toughness of Second-Generation Al–Li Alloys Versus Conventional Al Alloys

    13.5 Fracture Toughness of Third-Generation Al–Li Alloys

    13.6 Uses and Potential Uses of Third-Generation Al–Li Alloys

    13.7 Conclusions

    References General references for second-generation Al–Li alloys

    Specific references

    Other references

    Chapter 14. Corrosion and Stress Corrosion of Aluminum–Lithium Alloys

    14.1 Introduction and Historical Background

    14.2 Localized Corrosion of Al–Li Based Alloys

    14.3 Stress Corrosion Cracking

    14.4 Summary and Conclusions



    Part V: Applications

    Chapter 15. Aerospace Applications of Aluminum–Lithium Alloys

    15.1 Introduction

    15.2 Weight Savings

    15.3 Materials Selection

    15.4 Applications of Al–Li Alloys (Third Generation)

    15.5 Summary and Conclusions



    Chapter 16. Airworthiness Certification of Metallic Materials

    16.1 Introduction

    16.2 Aviation and Airworthiness Regulatory Bodies

    16.3 Airworthiness of Metallic Materials

    16.4 Example of Certification of an Al–Li Alloy

    16.5 Summary

    References General References

    Specific References

    Appendix 1. Interconversion of Weight and Atomic Percentages of Lithium and Aluminum in Aluminum–Lithium Alloys

    Selected Conversion Factors For SI Units



Product details

  • No. of pages: 608
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Butterworth-Heinemann 2013
  • Published: September 20, 2013
  • Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780124016989
  • eBook ISBN: 9780124016798

About the Editors

N Eswara Prasad

Dr. Prasad’s work on Al-Li alloys includes alloy development, extensive characterization of mechanical properties and directions for future alloy development. Dr. Prasad has published nearly 120 original and comprehensive research articles in peer-reviewed national and international journals, conference proceedings as well as several comprehensive technical reports. He also has several editorial works to his credit – most of them as the Editor of Transactions of the Indian Institute of Metals. He has recently been elected as the METALLURGIST OF THE YEAR – 2010 by the Indian Institute of Metals for his outstanding contributions to the Development of Non-Ferrous Materials for Indian Defence. Dr. Prasad is a Research Fellow of Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany; Visiting Scientist of Max-Planck-Institute for Metalloforschung, Stuttgart, Germany; Visiting Professor, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Technology, Hyderabad, India; Fellow of Institute of Engineers (India) - FIE; Fellow of Andhra Pradesh Akademy of Sciences - FAPAS and Fellow of Indian Institute of Metals - FIIM.

Affiliations and Expertise

Regional Centre for Military Airworthiness, Hyderabad, India

Amol Gokhale

Dr Gokhale has a Ph. D. in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, where he studied the phenomena of solidification cracking during welding and casting, and related them to the mechanical behaviour of the alloys in the partially solidified state. Since joining the Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL) in 1985, Dr Gokhale has been involved with the development of light alloy cast and wrought products. Since 2004 he has been leading research projects on aluminium based foam for shock and sound absorption, and laser additive manufacturing of stainless steels and superalloys. Currently he heads the Solidification Technology Division and the Extractive Technology Division at DMRL. Dr Gokhale is a life member of the Indian Institute of Metals (and vice chairman of the Hyderabad chapter), Materials Research Society of India and the Institute of Indian Foundrymen, and a Light Alloys panel member of the Bureau of Indian Standards, Govt. of India. He was recently elected a Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering.

Affiliations and Expertise

Defence Metallurgical Research Lab., India

R.J.H Wanhill

Dr. Wanhill has two Ph.D.s, one in metallurgy from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, and the second Ph.D, from Delft University of Technology. In 1970 he joined the National Aerospace Laboratory NLR in the Netherlands, and since then has investigated fatigue and fracture of all classes of aerospace alloys. He is co-author of the book "Fracture Mechanics." Since 1994 he has also been investigating fracture phenomena in ancient silver and iron, and has published seven peer-reviewed papers on this topic. He also has a lecture course on ancient silver, prepared for the Netherlands Cultural Heritage Agency and the University of Amsterdam. Dr. Wanhill is now a Principal Research Scientist (emeritus) in the Aerospace Vehicles Division of the NLR. He has recently been working on the analysis of fatigue cracking in GLARE panels from the Airbus 380 MegaLiner Barrel test (presented at ICAF* 2009) and, in collaboration with Simon Barter (Defence Science and Technology Organisation, DSTO, Melbourne), on the use of marker loads for fatigue life assessment, fatigue thresholds in 7075-T7351 aluminium, and the fatigue crack growth properties of high strength alloys (titanium, aluminium) to be used in the JSF.

Affiliations and Expertise

National Aerospace Lab., The Netherlands

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